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Gold Sparkle in Oil

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Changed engine oil yesterday and saw gold-colored sparkle when oil sat in sun. Any idea where it might have come from?
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Jedi Warrior
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Re: gold sparkle in oil

Would that be an engine component made from brass or copper? Any of this captured by the oil filter or all in sump?
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Re: gold sparkle in oil

There's a couple bronze thrust washers on the crank. Check endplay on the crank by watching the balancer and pulley as someone pushes on the clutch. I think the top pushrod bearings might be bronze, and the rocker arm bushes are.
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Bob, is that with the engine running? Pushrod bearings? Wouldn't that wear fast if they were bronze?

Doesn't have to be. There is some end play--offhand, I'd guess maybe 1/16", but I don't know the spec--but if it seems excessive, like a half-inch it could be you've lost one (there's two, each in two halves). It's been a while since I had my BJ8 engine rebuilt, but I do believe the upper pushrod bearings are bronze, and I know for sure the rocker arm bearings are. My BJ8 engine has bronze valve guides. As usual, if I'm wrong someone please correct me. These aren't Healey, but you can see they have a soft metal upper bearing:


Oil analysis isn't a bad idea, but I'd probably drop the pan and see if there's any chunks in there. Bronze is used in some metal-to-metal applications where it's better if one side is a bit softer to prevent wear on both parts. There are bronze thrust washers in the O/D too. Note when I say 'bronze' it could be other yellow metals; e.g. the gearboxes have brass shift forks, and I usually some extremely fine yellow 'shake' in gearbox oil when I change it (it's actually kind of pretty).


Luke Skywalker
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How was the oil pressure itself hot?? If you have low pressure, could be the main and/or rod bearings have worn to the underlying copper. Ans noted, maybe thrust washers that would be on either side of the center main bearing cap. Wear too much they could fall out and cause damage to the main caps and crank thrust surfaces which if bad enough could require replacement. And as noted there are other bonze a copper in the engine. In the end you'll probably be dropping the pan.


Jedi Hopeful
If you haven't replaced the oil yet, pour 1/2 gal. of kerosene in it to flush the pan.
Let the oil and Ker. sit overnight and use a magnet to check if it is steel or
bronze. If bronze, more than likely you have spun a rod bearing.
tahoe healey
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I was thinking bearings too. The oil pressure is very good and no noises. Runs well. I was just getting her ready for Big Bear in May doing per-season stuff as it will be a significant number of miles. I will stic a magnet in the use oil to see if anything sticks.

John Turney

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... upper pushrod bearings ....
Connecting rod. That's what confused us. The pushrods are the ones between the tappets (or lifters) and the rocker arms.

Rocker arm bearing wear is usually the first to cause low oil pressure. Since TH's oil pressure is good, I wouldn't expect wear there, although removing the oil filler cap with the engine running will allow visual inspection for excessive oil flow.

Rod bearing wear will show up as noise.

Main bearing wear will also cause low oil pressure.

Thrust bearings could be an issue. End play in the crank should be between 0.0025" and 0.0055".

Also if the rubber foot on the timing chain tensioner or vibration dampener is worn.


Jedi Hopeful
A Con. rod would be hard to hear in an engine that heavy. (meaning thick iron). You rev it up to mid rpm
then let off the throttle, At that instant you will hear it. Went through this with a Ford big block.

Healey Nut

Luke Skywalker
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Oil analysis , stethoscopes, vibration analyzing, boroscopes etc ......Nothing beats pulling off the oil pan and getting a real set of eyes on it .
Pulling the pan on a Healey is quick n easy .
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Cutting the oil filter open--with a suitable tool (NOT a hacksaw)--would be in order IMO. I usually do an oil change before a long road trip, and I cut the used filter open to inspect for unwanted chunks of stuff. We did this routinely on the aircraft I helped maintain.
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